second law of thermodynamics

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Noun1.second law of thermodynamics - a law stating that mechanical work can be derived from a body only when that body interacts with another at a lower temperature; any spontaneous process results in an increase of entropy
law of thermodynamics - (physics) a law governing the relations between states of energy in a closed system
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References in periodicals archive ?
Additionally, a gravitationally collapsing gaseous cloud, which obeys the ideal gas law, violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. An ideal gas is elastic by definition.
The Carnot cycle is often used to derive a mathematical expression for the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This method does not make clear what thermodynamic temperature is, and provides little insight, since a specific substance (an ideal gas) is used, rather than a general substance.